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Forty Hadith of Nawawi Fall 2010

Selections from the 40 Hadith of al-Nawawi

  • An in-depth commentary on some of the most comprehensive statements of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
  • Prerequisite: NONE (all topics are independent of previous sessions)
  • Required Text: Commentary on the 40 Hadith of al-Nawawi by J. Zarabozo
  • Time: Sundays 3:15 - 4:15 pm PDT September 26 to November 28 2010;  Sundays 3:30 - 4:30 pm PDT November 7 to November 30 2010
  • Grading: 100% Final Exam; Scheduled for November 21

Basic Outline of the Class

Topic 1:  Hadith #11: “Leave that which makes you doubt ...”

Topic 2:  Hadith #42: “O son of Adam, as long as you call on Me ...”


2010-09-26 Class Notes

In this session we will discuss Hadith #11 from Forty hadith of Al Nawawi. The text for hadith #11 states:

On the authority of Abu Muhammad al-Hasan ibn Ali ibn Abu Talib, the grandson of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and his beloved (may Allah be pleased with both of them), who said: I memorized from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), “Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt.”

Recorded by al Tirmidhi and al Nassai. Al Tirmidhi said, “It is a hasan sahih hadith.”

.... we missed more than 30 minutes of this class due to problems with UStream ...

One of the salaf said, There is nothing easier than taqwa. How many times have you heard it. If something that you doubt, then leave it. It is very easy.

The ulema who commented on 40 hadith, discussed whether this principle is obligatory or recommended. It is not correct to just to come to one decision. In reality, this principle is sometimes to be applied as a recommendation and in some cases as an obligation.

If we say obligatory, then it becomes mandatory upon you to stay away from things that you doubt.

Contemporary times and things that you doubt.
Some scholars highlight the principle of leaving things that you doubt. Many times you find the examples are exactly the opposite, we find more often the case where some say it is okay to do it for doubtful things. We are lacking people that are willing to give the example of staying away from doubtful matters.

Concept of itihaat, we will start discussing it. First we will discuss the last statement  of the hadith which says that it is recorded by Tirmidhi and Nasaai. At the end of the hadith, it says recorded by Tirmidhi and Nassai. This is the first time, Nawawi mentions Tirmidhi, who goes by the kunya of Abu Isa.

Does anyone know why Abu Isa not a very common name. Umar prohbited taking the kunya of Abu Isa. The prophet did name somebody Abu Isa. We will discuss Tirmidhi in Uloom al Hadith. He was from Uzbekistan. His teacher was Bukhari.

Nasaai 215 to 303 Hijri. He compiled al Sunan al Kubra. He lived in Nasa, Persia. One of his teachers is Bukhari. He wrote a book about the excellent qualities of Ali ibn Talib. Some scholars were not happy about this work of Nasaai.  Because of this work, he was attacked and he was possibly killed by Khawaarij since the Khawaarij considered Ali to be kafir because Ali accepted reconciliation?? from the party of Muawiyah???

What does Nawawi mean by Hasan Sahih?
Hadith is either hasan or sahih. It is considered to be two different categories. If you say hasan sahih and do not explain what you mean by it, it is problematic. This has led to a lot of discussions among scholars.

One of the qawayyid or legal maxims, Qaeeda Fiqhiyya, what is it?
A basic legal maxim or principle. They are usually derived from various text of Quran or Sunnah. The text of Quran and Sunnah are describing the principle. Like the principle, something that is known with certainity cannot be removed by doubt. And you can apply this principle to tahara or to other maters in fiqh etc.

Another principle is water is pure. However this principle is not a Qaeeda Fiqhiyaa, it is known as daabit, since the principle that water is pure can only be applied to only some fields. It’s usage is restricted to certain fields. It is just restricted to tahara and not to other fields or disciplines. Hence it falls in the category of daabit principle and not legal maxim.

Something might be clearly halaal and somebody might try to bring questions and bring some doubt in your minds. It could be baseless or illogical and you can experience from human beings. Doubts can be put in human beings mind for baseless reasons.

Among the modernists, they will take some text of Quran or hadith and bring in some doubt. They try to make things that are clear in the text of Quran or in the hadith and then bring some rational doubt. For example riba, the prohibition of riba in Quran and Sunnah is very clear. If someone tries to come up with some flimsy arguments such as inflation. Inflation eats away the value of money and to counter inflation, it is okay to take riba.

There is no question about the text in Quran which clearly prohibits riba. This argument which is being raised, cannot be considered in any way superior to the clarity of the text.

Note that things are considered prohibited, it does not mean that there isn’t something beneficial in it. For example you will come across some studies that drinking wine in moderation is good for the heart or health. But remember that in total, the harm in them is greater than the benefit.

So you will see some people will raise the benefits of things that are harmful as a means of raising doubt for things that are clear in the Quran and Sunnah.

2010-10-03 Class Notes


On the authority of Abu Muhammad al-Hasan ibn Ali ibn Abu Talib, the grandson of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and his beloved (may Allah be pleased with both of them), who said: I memorized from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), “Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt.”

Recorded by al Tirmidhi and al Nassai. Al Tirmidhi said, “It is a hasan sahih hadith.”

Another portion of the hadith that Tirmidhi did not record, .... truth is tranquility and falsehood is doubt ....

What are the parameters for the caution or doubt that you must exercise, this is al ihtiyaat? This important question is not discussed in many texts. Also there is a false sense of caution which is waswasa

The two important concepts that we will discuss are al ihtiyaat (إحتياط -- doubt) and waswasa (وسوسة
-- we will define it later).

Important principle in Islam: Every ruling has to be based on sound ilm (knowledge). Ilm is at different levels, one level is certainty, another level of ilm is based on preponderance of evidence for the ruling. As we lead our lives as Muslims, we do not base our ruling on shak (doubt). If we reach this level of knowledge, shak, then we cannot make a ruling or a conclusion.

Guidance from Allah swt encompasses everything. Allah swt says in Surah Nahl verse 89, we have revealed the book as exposition for everything,

ويوم نبعث في كل أمة شهيدا عليهم من أنفسهم وجئنا بك شهيدا على هؤلاء ونزلنا عليك الكتاب تبيانا لكل شيء وهدى ورحمة وبشرى للمسلمين

Muhsin Khan

And (remember) the Day when We shall raise up from every nation a witness against them from amongst themselves. And We shall bring you (O Muhammad SAW) as a witness against these. And We have sent down to you the Book (the Quran) as an exposition of everything, a guidance, a mercy, and glad tidings for those who have submitted themselves (to Allah as Muslims).



There is guidance in the book for us to reach the conclusion whether a matter is halal or haraam.

Prophet said, I have left something for you which is very clear, its night is like a day, and no one strays from it except he is destroyed.

Prophet said, what is halaal is clear and what is haraam is clear, and between them are doubtful matters.

Some people don’t see this clarity. And we might reach a situation where we don’t know what to do. And this is where the concept of caution or ihtiyaat should be applied.

Classroom discussion on have you used the concept of ihtiyaat and where have you applied it and why did you apply it?
Some answers from the students:
In matter of food, there might be some ingredients in the food, even in the case of something as natural as orange juice, there are so many ingredients and it becomes unclear to you that you don’t know whether it is halaal or haraam.
Things that are mixed with halaal and haram.
Salaatul janazah and washing of the bodies of muslims and non-muslims who have died on the battlefield.
Pure is mixed with the impure.
What about differences of opinion between ulema, so the safest approach is to use ihtiyaat.
You may do something just to be on the safe side. For example, if you’re sure an issue is mustahab and a great scholar is saying that you respect and he says it’s wajib. Does anyone look at a situation like that and say, maybe i better play it safe and follow it as wajib.
Fiqh Al nawazil - new issues or cases that have not yet been discussed by scholars. For example, somebody has come up with a new approach to banking, will you exercise caution and stay away from it, until it has been researched by a scholar.

We will be studying different issues and how they relate to ihtiyaat. Things that lead a person to act with caution are not due to the same reasons. Example of menses, a woman may have doubt whether it’s menses or not (case of shak). Another area we might have to invoke this concept of ihtiyaat. Cases where things that you know are halaal mix with things that you know are haram and what to do in that case. And in cases, you don’t even know halal or haram. And cases where ulema differ and there is shak. All different cases where ihtiyaat is invoked. For each of them there is a different set of guidelines which guide us on how we approach matters.

Q: Praying behind a known heretic. For example, in saudia, praying behind somebody who smokes or doesn’t have beard, would never happen. So this student comes to US and sees the khatib without beard, what does he do?

We get involved in issues that don’t concern us. That’s one of our major issues. If something does not concern you, don’t comment on it.

Ihtiyaat as we’ll see can sometimes be obligatory, on individual or jamaah. We’ll discuss this later. Sometimes its wajib, mustahab, makrooh or haraam. We’ll look into this issue later.

Dharoora - you cannot escape the ruling, you cannot use ignorance to escape it.

Definition of Ihtiyaat

Linguistically, ihtiyaat comes from Hiyaata (حياطة) - to guard, to look after, to protect. Comes from the root word .... to encompass something or cover something

Technical term, protecting yourself from falling into something prohibited or failing to do something obligatory in cases of doubt or confusion.

Failing to do something because of doubt or doing something because you feel that it might be wajib. This is due to confusion. Of course if it is clear, something is clearly halaal then you cannot resort to ihtiyaat to avoid doing it, or if something is clearly haraam, you stay away from it. So caution is applicable when things are not clear to you. When there is some real question or some real doubt.

If you take cautious route even when things are clear to you, this is one form of extremism.

Taqleed: Can you avoid the responsibilities and lay it at the feet of an imam?  If knowledge has reached you, then you cannot avoid the repercussions. Even among the ulema, there is going to be some disagreements.

Prophet said, there will come a time, when a person will not care whether what he takes is halaal or haram. The prophet is describing a person who does not follow ihtiyaat.

Ihtiyaat is a well established principle in shariah. It dates back to the time of sahaba. Some of the sahaba used to fast the day of shak (yaum al shak). What did they mean by yaum ul shak? Didn’t the prophet prohibit them from fasting the day of shak?
It is about the sighting of crescent moon to begin the month of fasting, if it is cloudy then complete 30 days. Ibn Umar and others did not contradict this hadith. If it is 29th of shabaan, if it is cloudy then you reckon shabaan to be 30 days and do not fast. Suppose it is not cloudy and you do not see the moon. The hadith is describing cloudy conditions.
If they did not see the moon on clear night, then they would not fast, but if it was cloudy then they would fast. This is because of how they interpreted the words of the hadith and they did it out of caution.
(So they exercise caution when it cloudy but when it was clear night they did not exercise caution.)

Ihtiyaat is the principle of all four madhaab, including the hanafi madhaab. A number of Hanafi scholars made a point to demonstrate that ihtiyaat is a principle in Hanafi madhaab, because the Hanafi madhaab was accused of not following ihtiyaat or they were lax in following this principle. So they made a point of following it.

An author (Shaarani’s book Al-Mezaan) who compares different madhaabs, ...... missed what he said ....

There is a school that rejects ihtiyaat, next time we will discuss what are the evidences for and against ihtiyaat.

Clarity is better then caution. So our default case is to find things that are clear, if you cannot determine what is clear, then you err on the side of caution.

For example, if you are in salaat and you did not remember how many rakaat you have prayed, you base your actions on the number of rakaat that you are sure that you have prayed.

2010-10-10 Class Notes

In each of the four madhabs there is application of the principle of Ihtiyaat. And we discussed that it is applicable even in the Hanafi madhab, since some say that this principle is not followed by the Hanafi madhab.

At the same time there has been opposition to the concept of ihtiyaat and we will discuss the faqih who opposes it, just so that we are aware of it, so that we are not surprised when somebody presents it.

Evidence for supporting Ihtiyaat

(#1) One of the evidences for the concept of Ihtiyaat is Surah Hujurat verse 12

يا أيها الذين آمنوا اجتنبوا كثيرا من الظن إن بعض الظن إثم ولا تجسسوا ولا يغتب بعضكم بعضا أيحب أحدكم أن يأكل لحم أخيه ميتا فكرهتموه واتقوا الله إن الله تواب رحيم

Sahih International

O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.

Muhsin Khan

O you who believe! Avoid much suspicions, indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful.


It states that avoid الظن suspicion or conjecture about people, usually negative thoughts about other people, and it further states that not all such thoughts are incorrect, however since it is easy for a person to fall into thoughts or suspicions about other people and hence fall into sin. Limit yourself to الظن  dhann since it can lead you to sin. Most of dhann is not haraam but some of it could lead to sin, so be cautious. This does not mean that we have to cautious in every other field, this is one of many fields in which we have to be cautious.

(#2) Another evidence is Hadith #6 of the Forty Hadith of Nawawi which state that:
The prophet said, What is permissible is clear, what is haraam is clear, and between them are unclear matters.......   example of cattle grazing around field that is private pasture and very soon your cattle will encroach upon the private pasture.... the private pasture of Allah swt is the things that he has made haraam.

The Prophet saas said that every king or ruler has a private pasture, and the pasture of Allah swt on this earth is what Allah swt has forbidden.

The analogy that the Prophet saas gave is that the best way to prevent your cattle from straying into private land is to try to set up a barrier (by distance or some means) to prevent your animals from straying since your control over them is limited.

Ibn Suyuuti in commenting on this hadith said that idea about being cautious about one’s deen is sought after by Shariah in general and not in any particular case.

(#3) Another evidence is the hadith that we are discussing about doubtful things. We should go beyond caution and avoid the things that are doubtful completely.

(#4) There’s another piece of evidence.  The hadith that states that a servant of Allah swt will not be amongst the muttaqeen until he leaves that thing that has no harm in it out of fear that there might be some harm in it.  Recorded by Ibn Taymiyyah, Bahaqi, others)

This is most likely a weak hadith. We will discuss ihtiyaat waajib or not later. We hope everybody wants to be a muttaqeen and there are many levels of a muttaqee.

(#5) Hadith we studied in this series, in which companion asked prophet about birr righteousness and ithm. Prophet replied ‘The sin is whatever makes your soul waiver and you hate that others would see it.” Recorded in Sahih Muslim.

If you have strong doubt something and go ahead and do it anyway, then it shows the lack of concern for your deen. Until you are fairly clear that it is halaal then go ahead and do it, and if you are not sure then avoid it. And if you are a person of taqwa this should be of concern to you.

(#6) There’s also a hadith in which the Prophet saas said, if you wake up from you sleep, one should not put the hand in the water vessel (to drink from) without first washing it since you may not know where the hand spent the night.

What is the point of this hadith?  Since you are not sure about the cleanliness of your hand, you exercise caution and wash it before putting your hand in a water vessel.  Hand could have come in contact with your private parts, or if you are sleeping on the ground and your hand might have come into contact with some impurity on the ground. Based on that possibility, and acting on the concept of ihtiyaat, the prophet has asked us to wash our hands first. Some companions say that it is an obligation to wash your hand after waking up. Even if you are not going to dip your hand into a water vessel, you could apply the principle and wash your hand.

(#7) Another piece of evidence that is quoted (apparently this happened more than once with the Prophet saas).  The Prophet saas found a date (in one instance, he found a date underneath the cushion he sleeps on), and he said “if it were not the case that is might have been from Sadaqah, I might have eaten it.” (It is not permissible for the Prophet saas or his descendants to consume sadaqah).  Recorded in Sahih Bukhari.

The Prophet saas is setting for us an example, acting on the basis of this principle. You would find two kinds of dates: those that belong to the Prophet saas and his family, and dates that were given to the Prophet saas to distribute to others.  The Prophet saas acts on the basis of caution and therefore he does not consume it.

We see from the evidence that this use of caution is not just an exception based tool; it is a basic principle in the deen.  We will see later that the Prophet saas made decisions based on this principle.  He warns of staying in situations that are questionable (“shaky”) to say the least and there are some differences of opinion amongst the Ulemah about what exactly was said and what the inferences are.  It is clear however that the Prophet saas commands to be careful in these cases.  This was not a judgement of the Prophet saas, the statement was made as advice to be cautious (to act on the basis of caution).  

Others are of the understanding that this was a ruling from the Prophet saas that the man should separate from the woman he had married after it was brought to his attention that they were both breastfed by the same individual.  The opinion of the majority regarded this statement as a statement of an obligatory precautionary act.  (this hadith is from Sahih Bukhari)

An individual cannot just make a claim without any evidence to back it up.

(#8) Hadith from Sahih Bukhari. In this hadith deals with questions about paternity of a child. Some one told his brother that the son of the slave girl is my son so take care of her. And after the battle the person’s brother said that the child is my nephew after his brother had died in the battle. However the person who owned the slave said that the child is the son of my father and he belongs to my family. And in this context, the prophet said, the child is attributed to the bed of the family in which it was born and for the adulterer is stoning (either metaphorically or literally).

This disputed boy is the brother of one of the wife’s of the prophet. And the prophet noted that the boy resembles not the legal father but the one who claimed paternity. The prophet told his wife Saudah to wear hijab in front of this boy, since even if he is her legal brother, but out of caution he asked her to wear hijaab in front of her out of caution. And the hadith says that her brother did not see her until she (Saudah) died. Remember the prophet has already made a legal ruling that the boy is her half-brother but he is recommending her to wear hijab in front of her. So Saudah and the boy shared a father legally. The point of this hadith is that prophet is guiding us to this principle of caution.

(#9) Another evidence from Sahih Bukhari. The prophet was asked about training dogs who are sent to catch prey and they are supposed to say Bismillah to catch the prey. Sometimes when hunting they find that their dog and some other dog over the hunted animal. What should they do when they encounter such a situation.

It was Ali ibn Haatim who asked this question, the prophet said that do not eat it, since you mentioned the name of Allah over your dog and not over the other dog. This again is the principle of ihtiyaat applied in another situation.

(#10) Another hadith from Sahih Bukhari.  Ali ibn Hatim had a number of hadith related to hunting.  The Prophet saas said when you shoot your arrow, mention the name of Allah swt, and when you find the animal that was killed by the arrow, go ahead and eat the animal, unless you find it immersed in water since you do not know if the water killed it or the arrow.  The hunter must be clear as to what killed the animal.  Otherwise, if there is doubt, leave the animal.  The ulimah commenting on this state that this is a type of ihtiyaat that is wajib.  This hadith most likely refers to shooting a bird from the sky, causing the bird to fall into the water.  Did the arrow kill the bird or injure it while hitting the water actually killed it?

New topic???
All rational people in general consider acting on basis of caution is a praiseworthy thing. By definition, a crazy person throws caution to the wind. Rational people take precaution even when taking risk. We do not take ridiculous risks.

Question for us to ponder for the next session
A statement from Ibn Hazm.  He does not believe in acting on ihtiyaat.  He has a rather lengthy discussion proving that ihtiyaat is not a valid concept.  He says it is not permissible to act based on caution in the deen thereby forbidding what Allah swt has not forbade for then he would be forging a lie in the deen against Allah swt.  Then he continues by saying that Allah swt is more cautious upon us than we are cautious towards one another or ourselves. Allah swt is more cautious about our safety then even us.  Therefore, it is obligatory upon us to not forbid anything that Allah swt has not forbidden for us.  It is permissible for us to make permissible all of that which Allah swt has not forbidden.  We should not increase anything in the deen or add anything and doing so comes with a very grave sin.  

In essence he is saying that ihtiyaat is haraam, since we are forging lies against Allah swt by asking us to stay away from things that Allah swt has not asked us to stay away from. So how can ibn Hazm reconcile all of the actions and statement of the prophet with respect to the principle of Ihtiyaat?


2010-10-17 Class Notes

Ibn Hazm is against ihtiyaat because he says you are making thing obligatory that Allah swt is not making obligagory and making something haraam that Allah swt is not making haraam. In one of the passages he says ihtiyaat is permissible in the case of waraa’ but then he backtracks.

Concept of dann (speculation, conjecture)
Ibn Hazm says applying ihtiyaat is same as the concept of dann (speculation, conjecture). Sheikh asks is it haraam to apply dann. Allah swt says many times in the Quran when he says that the mushrikeen are following dann. So what do you think of his argument?

Different types of dann
Allah swt censures the mushrikeen because they are following conjecture without any basis and that they are accepting that the mushrikeen are following dann without any basis.

There are different types and levels of dann. In fiqh are we allowed to follow dann? Yes. Not everything in fiqh is known definitively. Not all of fiqh is definitive, it is yaqeeni (certainity). It is possible that we might be wrong, does that mean we leave everything. In western societies it is known as economics of certainity.

What kind of dann is permissible and one that is not permissible?
We can follow Dann al raji, conjecture that is based on preponderance of evidence and we are satisfied that this is the correct view.

So in case of ihtiyaat, what kind of dann are we following? We are following dann al raji. Why or what is the evidence?

If you avoid an action based on ihtiyaat, what are you saying?
Evidence of the shariah as a whole, point you to leave that action. For example the hadith that we are studying now, “Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt.”

For example, prophet has doubt about the dates in his household, are they sadaqah for the poor muslims or is it a date which he can consume. Since he is doubtful, he leaves the date and does not eat it.

Ibn Hazm quotes some hadith as evidence for his point of view which we will take a look at now.

If you are in prayer for example, and you feel some movement in your stomach, should you leave the salat to make wudu. Ibn Hazm says that you do not break the salat and he quotes the hadith, and he says isn’t this proof ihtiyaat is not permissible?

There are some principles that we have to apply before we resort to ihtiyaat. We cannot fall victim to extremism, should not fall victim to stronger principles of shariah, etc.

So before you can apply ihtiyaat, we have to make sure that we have not excluded stronger principles of shariah or stronger evidence. You remain in state of tahara or purity in salat until you are certain that you wudu is broken.

What do you think of this hadith, Prophet said that what Allah is made permissible is halaal and what he is forbidden is haraam and what he is silent about is pardoned ....... so accept his pardon and your lord is not forgetful of anything, in light of the issue of ihtiyaat? Is this hadith good evidence against the concept of ihtiyaat?

The mustabaha is different category from ma sakatha anhu

Doubtful matters are something that Allah swt has spoken about. When we look at some items there are some doubt. For example the date in the household of the prophet, what category does it belong to? It might have been from the category that is haraam for him, since he was forbidden to consume from sadaqah.

This issue is a relative thing and two different levels of categorization.

Another evidence ibn Hazm gives is the hadith of ayesha that states that some people came to the prophet and certain other people give us meat and we do not know whether these other people mention the name of Allah or not, so the prophet replied, mention the name of Allah and eat it.

Ibn Hazm says that if you apply ihtiyaat then you should not eat it. Why is ibn Hazm’s conclusion wrong and how would you respond to him?

This hadith was related to people who had recently accepted Islam and they did not know how to slaughter animals according to Shariah.

Since prophet asked them to mention the name of Allah is an example of ihtiyaat.

We have a principle based on other hadith which states that if you receive food from Muslim is that you eat it and do not ask about it. This principle is to remove the possibility of ihtiyaat, otherwise you would have mistrust in the muslim society, why did so and so did not eat my food etc.

So this stronger principle overrides your application of ihtiyaat, unless there are some exceptions.

Straw man fallacy
ibn Hazm is attacking something that is based on incorrect understanding of ihtiyaat, this is a typical fallacy in the study of logic, which is known as straw man fallacy, where in you construct a straw man based on wrong assumption and then tear it down.

Different types of ihtiyaat
In our responses to ibn Hazm, not all ihtiyaat is sanctioned in the shariah. You can classify ihtiyaat into four different types:
1. Cases in which Ihtiyaat is waajib or obligagory
2. Cases in which Ihtiyaat ismubah or recommended
3. Cases in which Ihtiyaat ismadhmoon either disliked or haraam or blameworthy

There is a proper ihtiyaat and there is ihtiyaat which is not proper.

Al Ihtiyaat al waajib
When do you think ihtiyaat might be waajib?  
Can be waajib if ihtiyaat is a means to accomplish something obligatory or leaving something which is haram.  

One of the simplest cases is when something is originally obligatory and one is certain of that and then one faces something that makes you doubt whether it is obligatory on you.  

Example: Suppose someone forgot to pray one of the five daily prayers last thursday.  He remembers that he missed one of those prayers and that he was planning on making it up.  However, now he cannot remember which prayer he missed.  What should he do in this case?  

Following ihtiyaat, he would pray all five prayers for Thursday.  It is obligatory for him to make up the missed prayer, and if the only way he can do that is to pray all five prayers to cover the missed prayer with certainty, then ihtiyaat is obligatory on him.

He has to be certain about which prayer he is making up, he cannot just make a blanket intention, it has to be certain intention for a specific prayer time. So in this case acting on ihtiyaat is waajib.

Example:  Suppose someone was breastfed by a woman, and this woman also breastfed some of his cousins of this particular family.  However, they don’t remember which ones of their nieces of their cousins were breastfed; what should he do.  Out of caution, he should not marry any of them.  It becomes an obligation not to marry any one of them.

According to the Malikis, they give an example where ihtiyaat is disliked.  For example, when one is making wudhu and one begins to doubt whether one has washed their arms, etc three times, one should not exceed three times.  It is better to stop there and not repeat the wudhu step. Ihtiyaat in this case would be makrooh.

Ihtiyaat would be haram in cases where it would seem ihtiyaat would lead to waswasa or other doubting.  

If something has entered into the water that affects the taste and smell of it.  Does this water not become impure?  Water is always impure; however, the water has been mixed with the impure and there is no way to separate them.  


2010-10-24 Class Notes

Continue our discussion of hadith #11 which talks about leaving things that are doubtful.

Ihtiyaat with regards to historical narrations from doubtful sources
Sheikh is now talking about why he did not report on the death of grandson of the prophet in either his book or in the classroom (not sure where). And he did this because he had some doubts about narrations int he book of history which are outlandish. They have isnaads.

The question is about death of Abul Hassan and the fact that he was poisoned. There are number of narrations that the one who poisoned Hassan was his wife and that she did it on the urging of either Muawiyyah and Yazid. Recently sheikh came across a book which discusses these reports.

Sheikh says that it is plausible that Hassan died as a result of poison. He had many enemies since he brought peace and reconciliation between two warring factions. He stepped down from the Khalifa and this created a lot of enemies on both sides of the warring factions. However the narrations about who poisoned him is not plausible at all.

Unfortunately many of the reports are from Shia sources and you have to be aware of it and look for them. There is a recent scholarly work about tahreeka al tabari..... which discusses this topic of shia sources for the various isnaads. Since these stories are embellished.

Pre-requisites for Fiqh rulings about Ihtiyaat
Before we venture into fiqh ramnifications of ihtiyaat, we have to meet some preconditions:

1. There must not be a nass that rules out the application of ihtiyaat

If we have a clear cut text that describes how to behave in certain conditions, then we must not apply ihtiyaat. Because there is no safer path to approach a situation then to behave in the way it is explicitly stated how to act in a clear text from Quran and Sunnah.  You have to be aware of the clear text and apply it.

You might not be aware of the text or you might not be aware of how to apply the clear text. For example the eating of the carrion. And mentioning the name of Allah over the animal. But you might come across some meat and based on the issues that you are facing you might not know how to proceed.

If there is a text that is clear and if you understand that it applies to the situation you are facing. And then if you don't apply it based on ihtiyaat, then it is a form of extremism.

Fasting on the day of shaq is the example mentioned by authors when discussing ihtiyaat and sheikh does not think it is a good example. Day of shaq is when you have doubt whether Shabaan is ended and Ramadan has started and there is a clear hadith that you should not fast the day of shaq as matter of caution. Now this person is violating the principle of ignoring clear statements from the sunnah about the fasting the day of shaq. So here you are applying ihtiyaat in the face of this clear hadith from the prophet to not fast on this day. This is a form of waswasa that is not sanctioned by shariah.

Note, there were some ulemas who did fast because they were not clear about what is the day of shaq. This is a different issue.

If you knowingly deviate from Quran and Sunnah, then you are not acting cautiously. If you go clearly against the text, then you are opening yourself to the punishment of Allah swt and this is the antithesis of the concept of ihtiyaat.

Ibn Taymiyyah gave the example of some one who is not mastur. An individual who is unknown, he acts as a Muslim but you do not know whether he is dealing from halaal sources. There are hadith of the prophet which shows that you can buy and interact with a person who is mastur. So now if you avoid dealings with mastur then you are violating the sunnah.

Another example is one where people refuse to pray in the park while wearing their footwear. We have many hadith that showed prophet prayed while he wore sandals.

So if a person is exercising ihtiyaat even when in the face of explicit text about Quran and Sunnah, then in reality he is going against the sunnah.

Another example is that people were asked to remove their shoes because they might have stepped in najasah. However this goes against the hadith that if you step in some najasah then the next step you take purifies it.

2. You should not cause hardship to others by exercising ihtiyaat that is mustahab

In general you dont insist that others act based on ihtiyaat. However if you act in the basis of ihtiyaat, then somebody else might follow you. For example you are the imaam. The ihtiyaat is mustahab and not obligagory. And if you feel that by acting on ihtiyaat this would make it obligatory. You have to make it explicit to the people and tell them that if this causes any hardship then you should not do it.

For example, Ali ibn Hussein, who is one of the sons of the narrator of hadith #11, he saw a fly going into something impure and it went towards his clothing. And he had some doubt. And just out of caution, he considered changing his clothes. There were no signs of impurity, just the doubt about the impurity.

During this time chaging garments would be a a cause of hardship, since most people did not have extra garments that they could afford. And he explicitly stated it to his servant to make sure that his actions should not be considered to be followed by others.

3. Shariah has already given us explicit directions in specific conditions and you should not perform ihtiyaat

Suppose it is time for prayer and you don’t know the direction of the Qiblah. What should you do in this case? You take your best guess and pray. Suppose you later find out the correct direction of qiblah, do you have to repeat your prayers? What about, you pray in the all of the directions for one individual unit of prayer because of ihtiyaat? How did we come to our conclusions, did we follow some madhaab?

The Maliki opinion is that you took your best guess and if you found out the direction is wrong, then it is mustahab based on ihtiyaat to repeat your prayer.

There are two shafiee opinions. Imam Shafiee wrote in  Uum... that individual must repeat his prayers and it is like the decision of the judge and if he finds out that he made a wrong decision, then he must repeat his prayers. Second opinion is that you dont have to repeat.

In the Maliki school, Khalil Yum says that if you pray in the four different directions on the basis of ihtiyaat. Similar opinions from other schools.

However most likely all those opinions might be wrong. Because we have evidence that we do not perform ihityaat based on a hadith of the prophet.

Narration from Tirmidhi, which is hasan, that they stopped at a very dark night and prayed in any direction. The prophet said that any direction that you face, you will find it ......

Another hadith, prophet did not order them to repeat the prayers. This is a weak narration.

All of this principles apply this. if you do something against the shariah then that is not ihtiyat.

4: One does not invoke ihtiyat at a place where the shariah has given rukhsa.

What is rukhsa?
some kind of exemption. sometimes the shariah, azeemah is a normal case and it is stricter. rukhsa is for special circumstances. some people know the rukhsa and they dont take it just to be safe.

The prophet has told us : “allah loves that the invidual follows his examptions in the same way he loves that the slaves follows the azeemah

He also described the rukhsa as a sadaqa. He said: it is a kind of charity that Allah has bestowed upon you so accept his sadaqa.

If you deviate from the way of The sunnah then you dont have more taqwa. As he said: what is wrong with some people they stay away from what i do by allah i am more knowledable then them and have more fear of Allah then them.

To leave the rukhsa when it is sanctioned by the shariah, then this is incorrect. this is not being on the same side. like wiping over the khuffayn. not shortening the prayer while travelling, while travelling not breaking the fast, When you are traveling you can fast but dont insist on it.

Thats the fourth condition. if the prophet had a choice between two things he would choose the easier one.



2010-11-07 Class Notes

Continue our discussion of hadith #11 which talks about leaving things that are doubtful. In the context of discussing this hadith, we are discussing the details of ihtiyaat, for which this hadith is a primary evidence. The reason we are going in details is because you do not find detailed discussions of this concept in English or even in Arabic.

We covered four pre-conditions for applying ihtiyaat. We will continue with this topic and discuss more conditions for applying or not applying ihtiyaat.

5: Acting on based of ihtiyaat must be based on sound principles - it should not violate any sound principles

Cases where ihtiyaat can be applied, there are certain conditions that must be met. It must not violate any sound principle, for example, a small possibility of haraam occurring is overlooked. Remember shariah has not been sent down to cause hardship to Muslims. There are certain aspects of haraam occurring that might not be avoided.

Example: Imagine that you are in Pakistan and you know a woman there was breastfed as the same person as you. There are 160 million Pakistanis, then 80 million are female, and let’s say 10 million are of the appropriate age. One should not take Ihtiyaat as a reason not to marry any Pakistani woman.

(Do not apply ihtiyaat in this case and say that you cannot marry a Pakistani woman because there might be a possibility that she might be breast-fed by the same woman who breast-fed you.)

Similarly, there might be some items in the marketplace that are stolen. One should not avoid purchasing in the market out of ihtiyaat that the item one purchases might be stolen.

Scholars like Al-Ghazzali and Al-Khattabi have said that applying ihtiyaat in this type of scenario is a kind of waswasa from Shaytaan.

Question: What constitutes a small amount? Depends on ‘urf amongst the people, but if it is considered a small amount.

6. Cannot apply ihtiyaat on the issues of aqeedah

Suppose the only evidence for name of Allah swt is a weak hadith and out of ihtiyaat and I will act on this hadith. (Sheikh mentions that many hadith that discuss the 99 names of Allah are weak hadith).

Not acting on the basis of the weak hadith is not ihtiyaat. Ihtiyaat would be to act on the hadith and accept it to make sure that you do not leave out anything. This is because the basic principle in matters of aqeedah is that you do not say something about Allah unless you have evidence. So ihtiyaat is to deviate from this basic principle.

So this principle states that you cannot apply ihtiyaat in the matters of aqeedah.

7: Following a path of ihtiyaat should not lead to something unapproved of in the shari’ah such as leaving an approved Sunnah or leading to something that is Haram

Example: In the prayer, you have actions A, B, C or D. Scholars say they are permissible, mustahabb or waajib. People sometimes invoke ihtiyaat on the basis of a difference of opinion. Example: niqaab -- to show ihtiyaat you wear the niqaab.

But it should not make you do something haram. Example: raising your hands after the first takbeer. Is it waajib? No. Is it Sunnah? Yes it is affirmed sunnah. But some scholars say that raising your hands invalidates your prayer. So out of ihtiyaat, you stop raising your hands in the prayer. This would be incorrect. Because it is an affirmed Sunnah that you should raise your hands.

Is it permissible to fast while travelling during the month of Ramadan? We have clear evidence from the prophet that you can break the fast or continue the fast. Prophet explained the verse of the Quran which gives rukhsa and then said that the dhahir meaning of this verse is not what is understood.
Ibn Hazm says no, there is no valid fast if you travel in month of Ramadan. Suppose you break the fast by applying ihtiyaat, is this sound? No, because you are leaving an affirmed sunnah of the prophet wherein he allowed continue fasting even while traveling,

8. Act of ihtiyaat should not be based on doubt or question that itself is doubtful

Example: Did you pray Thuhr on Jan 21, 2008? There’s no reason to suspect that there is any validity to the doubt. You don’t act upon it out of ihtiyaat. This is waswasa gone bad.

You usually pray and there is no reason to doubt that you did not pray on that day, otherwise you will be constantly doubting yourself and make up prayers that you think you have missed. This is waswasa run amok.

9: The act which is done on the path of ihtiyaat must fulfill the purpose for which it is meant

Example: June 1st that he missed a prayer. But he doesn’t know which prayer he missed. So he chooses to pray one prayer, say Thuhr prayer. Then it has not fulfilled its purpose.

Example 2: Imagine a Sudanese ‘imaamah that drags on the ground and becomes impure. Then the person washes half the ‘imaamah. This is not correct; it hasn’t fulfilled the purpose of the ihtiyaat in the first place.

Goal of shariah is not to cause hardship.

For example, if you pray behind some sect and in their sect who continuously are making the niyah for the prayers because of their waswasa. In their sect, the niyah has to be exact.

Examples of Ihtiyaat from the Scholars

When the Halal mixes with the Haraam

There are several ways that the Halal can mix with the Haraam.

Case 1: Impure substance mixing in a pure substance
a liquid substance, e.g. water that we want to use for Wudu is mixed with something which is impure. There are some sub-cases:

Case 1.1: The effect of the Haraam things become visible within the mix.
Example pork could be mixed with Halal meat (ground beef is only 98% beef). If the effects of the Haraam are clear on the halaal, e.g. the water is a different color, or the smell, or the taste, then according to all scholars, it is Haram to use that. So then this is not a case of ihtiyaat. Note that the pure thing does not become impure, but the impure thing has overtaken the halaal.

Case 1.2: A case where there is some doubt.
Example, you see something impure falling into a big batch of water. But there is no effect on the water: smell, color, everything looks OK. According to most scholars this water is permissible for you to use.  But suppose you have another source of water. Out of ihtiyaat, you would use the other source of water.

Case 1.3: Istihaalah - impurity completely dissolved but did not change the attributes of the purity of the item in which it was dissolved

Suppose that the haram thing has no influence on the halal thing. Example: you go to the ocean, and you pick up water, clearly there are impurities of the water, then the fact that things have been mixed does not make the halal thing haram.

Example: Ibn Taymiyyah says that if the water has not changed its properties or attributes, then it remains pure and this is true for all liquids. They remain pure. And since their attributes have not changed, they remain pure.

Another example of istihaalah would be an impurity or enzyme in a large vat of milk for maybe making yogurt. Scholars say this is halaal. This brings up the issue of minute food ingredients and saying the food is haraam is not applying the principles of shariah.

Alcohol that is left become vinegar. Vinegar is halaal according to hadith. It started out as alcohol and it changed its nature by itself, and if this process happens by itself, then it is halaal.

Any vegetation that you consume, there is good chance that in it’s history there is some carcass of a dead animal in the soil. Vegetation grows out of the soil, but it has changed its nature. And you do not apply ihtiyaat.

Suppose you went to a farmer who raises cattle raised on beer or alcohol. Can you eat this meat? The principle in shariah is that this is permissible since it is completely dissolved. Animals can eat whatever they come across.

Gelatin is something impure but it has changed its nature via an artificial process. New product is completely different, however this was not a natural process and it was done by human beings or is an artificial process. There is some difference of opinion about this.

Ibn Taymiyyah says that any impure can become pure by changing its state.

Case 1.4 If you can remove the impurity, then the remains of the defiled product becomes pure.
You cannot resort to ihtiyaat. If you can remove the impurity, then the defiled product becomes pure. There might be some cases where you might not be able to remove the impurity for example, dog licking a bowl.

Some difference amongst the scholars about whether using water is important or the goal is purification. Example, you get something impure on your clothes and it is dry cleaned. Some scholars believe the water is important part of the purification process. Hence from the point of view of ihtiyaat it might be better to wash it with water.

Case 2: Something not impure in itself, but something that was wrongfully gained (e.g. stolen water) is mixed with something pure


2010-11-14 Class Notes

Continue with hadith #11, we have broadened the scope of this hadith to discuss the topic of how to act in case of doubt which is known as ihtiyaat.

Our goal is to find out where ihtiyaat can be applied and where it not should be applied. So far we have discussed haraam and halaal intermingling.

A general principle agreed by many scholars is that when you have a small amount of haraam or impurity that is mixed with a large amount of halaal or pure, then that small impurity is overlooked.

In the Hambali madhab, the above principle is not applicable to human urine or feces even in small amounts.

A small amount of menstrual blood is overlooked based on hadith of the prophet and the above principle is based on this hadith. This is done to alleviate hardship which is one of the goals of the shariah. In order to remove a small amount of impurity, you don’t have to go overboard to purify it.

For example you have a small amount of a mosquito blood on your clothing, then it is overlooked.

Some of the scholars say that this is the majority opinion among the scholars, but not necessarily ijmaa.

Ibn Taymiyyah was asked whether it is permissible to pray on the bed when there is a small amount of mouse urine or droppings. He said the safest option is to wash the bedding, but this small amount can be overlooked as done by Imam Ahmad.

They base their opinion on the following evidences.

Surah Baqarah verse 220

في الدنيا والآخرة ويسألونك عن اليتامى قل إصلاح لهم خير وإن تخالطوهم فإخوانكم والله يعلم المفسد من المصلح ولو شاء الله لأعنتكم إن الله عزيز حكيم

Muhsin Khan

In (to) this worldly life and in the Hereafter. And they ask you concerning orphans. Say: "The best thing is to work honestly in their property, and if you mix your affairs with theirs, then they are your brothers. And Allah knows him who means mischief (e.g. to swallow their property) from him who means good (e.g. to save their property). And if Allah had wished, He could have put you into difficulties. Truly, Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise."


It is not permissible to mix your property with the orphans in your charge, but a small mixing is overlooked.

Surah Al Anam verse 146
Muhsin Khan: And unto those who are Jews, We forbade every (animal) with undivided hoof, and We forbade them the fat of the ox and the sheep except what adheres to their backs or their entrails, or is mixed up with a bone. Thus We recompensed them for their rebellion [committing crimes like murdering the Prophets, eating of Riba (usury), etc.]. And verily, We are Truthful.

One of the things made haraam for Bani Israel was fat of the animals, but he made exception for fat that adheres to the entrails of the intestines or the ribs, since it would be difficult to remove it.

Hadith of Ayesha, she said that if some blood dropped on their garments, even after they washed it, you could see the evidence of the blood.

If the amount of impurity becomes big or reprehensible then it cannot be overlooked. Many of the scholars say that if you glance at the garment and you could not notice the impurity, then it can be overlooked. Ibn Abbas and others said that it depends on the urf. Some said that there might be time where it will not be overlooked. For example, now we have access to more than one piece of garment and we have access to more options to clean our clothes.

This is part of the flexibility and rahmah of Allah swt. Because if it was fixed, then it would cause many hardships or it could lead to other situations which could cause people to wear garments which have many impurities.

Hanafis divide impurity into two categories: Strongly impure and lightly impure.  Urine of animals that you are allowed to eat is considered light impurity. They consider human blood, urine, alcohol to be a major impurity. They said that any amount larger than a coin (dirham) would not be overlooked and less than it can be overlooked. This is not from the hadith or text of the Quran. This is from urf (customs) and what they considered easy to be overlooked. And this could change with time.

In the Fiqh us Sunnah class we determined that alcohol is not impure, we discussed this in detail. (Does somebody have these notes?)

When the early scholars laid down the principles, it was based on the needs of the people. That is the reason why it is based on the size of dirham. And later hanafis have to understand this concept that it is basis of urf.

If the large proportion is halaal or pure, then something minor comes in contact and it is not easy to remove, then it is overlooked.

Even if you have ten garments, it might be hardship if you are at work or other conditions, then this principle also applies today. And this might differ on the basis of your country of residence.

Urf might differ based on whether you are an engineer or a butcher or your profession.

Sheikh gave an example of using orphan’s car to buy their groceries and


What if we have some foods that are mixed with some low amounts of impurities such as alcohol?

Sheikh has collected opinions or fatawa or various scholars. There are some ingredients that are used in a very small percentage. Usually the ingredient list is in order to amount used. Most muslims try to buy halaal such as bread or cake. And then when you get to the minor ingredients such as mono-diglycerides, vanilla, alcohol, etc.

There are two words in arabic for vanilla, it is fanilla which also means t-shirts.  

Pure vanilla extract requires 35% alcohol and 13.35 ounces of bean per gallon according to the Food and Drug Administration. Artificial vanilla extract might not have alcohol.

Vanillin and vanilla beans are from dry sources and do not contain alcohol. The label might say vanilla instead of vanilla extract and you cannot tell for sure.

So we have this small amount of vanilla extract in food, which is less than a small percentage. And this vanilla extract is going to be diluted.

So let’s discuss the fatawa that discuss alcohol.

Ibn Uthaymian has an interesting opinion about use of alcohol in foods. We know about the hadith that if a large amount of it intoxicates then even a small amount of it is haraam. Ibn Uthaymian says that most people misunderstand this hadith. He talks about alcohol in food and clothes.

Allah swt says the we should remain away from it (alcohol). Ibn Uthaymian says that there is a specific illa why it is not allowed. Allah swt says shaitan tries to bring enemity between you via alcohol and gambling, and to keep you away from remembrance and prayers. And that is the illa or legal cause for its prohibition. And then he says that if it is not consumed for purpose of intoxication then it is not haraam.  He says it is safe to avoid it, even if you wear it as perfume or use it in food.

If some alcohol drops into water, such that the amount is very small, then this concoction is not intoxicating and if someone drinks it, then the hadd punishment does not apply, since it is not considered to be alcohol.

If a drop of urine falls into water, and it does not impact the smell or taste of water, then the water is not considered haraam. Similarly the case of very small amount of alcohol in water.

He says that the hadith is misunderstood, since a small drop of alcohol in food or water which does not intoxicate it, then it is not haraam, but a small amount of alcohol by itself is haraam to drink.

He personally does not wear perfume which has alcohol, but he does not consider it to be haraam. He quotes a hadith from Sahih Bukhari in which Abu Darda??? was asked about a drink called muri. Muri is drink made from wine mixed with salt and fish, then it is exposed to the sun and alcohol is evaporated. Abu Darda says that salt and fish makes the alcohol permissible. And it is okay to drink muri.

Another fatawa from the scholars in Saudi Arabia about eating food or drink in which alcohol was used. And the answer of the committee, chaired by Abdul Aziz ibn Baaz.

Their opinion is if something is mixed with alcohol and the result of consuming large amount of it makes you intoxicated, then it is haraam. They give evidence for it.

If the mixture does not intoxicate in a large amount, then there is no harm in using it, since it is no longer khamar.

Important point that he mentions that anything intoxication is haraam. So it might not be called alcohol but if it intoxicates it, then it haraam.

Then he was asked about vanilla extract. The ruling is based on the principle that a large quantity of it intoxicates, then a small portion is haraam. Conversely if a large amount of it does not intoxicate you, then a small quantity of it is not haraam. However if you were able to extract the alcohol out of the mixture and then consume it, then it is haraam.

He says that alcohol is not impure and thus it does not turn the mixture into impurity.

He says, Muslim cannot alcohol to food products. But if some non-Muslim does it, then it is allowed. So you cannot pour alcohol or rum on your cake.

Muslim restaurants should not be using alcohol in their cooking. But if in non-muslim restaurants use alcohol in their cooking and if the result is not intoxicating, then it is okay.

However sheikh mentions that it is impossible for alcohol to completely vanish.

Avoidance of this is consider ihtiyaatan.

French and Spanish cuisines use cooking wines in a large quantity, so you have to avoid it.


Another fatawa that is different the above two fatawas. This fatawa is from AMJA, his name is Ma’in Al-Qudaa.

He was asked about alcohol in food ingredients.  He says that it is not allowed even in toothpastes. The only exception is that if the alcohol is transformed by the cooking process then it is okay to consume the food. Then he was asked about soy sauce that has alcohol during the fermentation process, and he replied that I am not going to add anything to my opinion. If the alcohol is transformed by the cooking process and it is no longer alcohol then it is okay to consume it.



2010-11-21 Class Notes

We are still discussing hadith #11 from the forty hadith of Nawawi. We have been trying to narrow down the concept of ihtiyaat. What are its limits, because if you take it too its further extents, then it would rule out all food, all sources of income, all mosques, etc. It would also cause the waswasa the whisperings of the shaitan.

Scholars and shareeah guidance tells us when we can apply ihtiyaat and where we cannot apply it.

Q: How is ihtiyaat related to umoom al balwaa?
A: Umoom al balwaa is the antithesis of ihtiyaat. If something causes hardship to the ummah then it is overlooked by the shariah. It is a condition that is inflicting every one and it is something that is difficult to follow.

Last time we were discussing small amounts of impurities or haraam mixed in with something pure or halaal and it is overlooked by the shariah. It is mostly related to urf or conditions of the people. For example a garment that has urine of an animal that we can eat and covers 40% of the garment was overlooked at the time of the sahaba or early muslims but with modern means we can now overlook the hardship caused by washing clothing.

Brought up the question of alcohol in the food. Also focused on the question of vanilla extract. Previously discussed that alcohol by itself is not impure (it is not najasa). There are some alternatives that don’t use alcohol.

But when we reviewed the fatawa, they were all over the map. The two extremes:

Ibn Uthaymeen and Salah As-Sawi were of the opinion that as long as you were not intoxicated. There is universal agreement that there is no punishment for consuming such food -- the illah is in the intoxication. Hence if it is in such a small amount, then it is overlooked. Example: vanilla ice cream; therefore no reason to consider it haraam. Ibn Uthaymeen misunderstand the hadith about small quantities and large quanties. If the thing that you are consuming in large amounts intoxicates, then in small amounts it is also prohibited.

Ma’in Al-Qudaa hold the opinion that if it is proven that the food contains alcohol, then it has to be avoided.

So what to do? There is a general principle that a small amount of something large, Haram is overlooked. The Sheikh’s opinion is that it would not be excessive as a case of ihtiyaat, then that would not be extreme; as a general part of avoiding alcohol. If someone was to say it is OK, then we would not disagree with that opinion. List of ingredients is in order of concentration, so can use that.

What about other kinds of products? Lecithin, mono- and di-glycerides, gelatin and other enzymes. Lecithin could be from animal sources. Mono and diglycerides could be from animal or vegetable sources, it could be from pork. They are emulsifiers. It is not from the consumable part of the animal. Gelatin is from the bone marrow or bone cartilage of animal and it has undergone a change, and it is not considered an animal product by FDA.

Opinion of Haathim ul Haaj from Minnesota. He says that we should avoid the following ingredients: Lard, Animal shortenings, Gelatin except in medicines if there are no alternatives, Glycerin (except in medicine if there are no alternatives), Liquor (except where otherwise defined -ed for example chocolate liquor is not liquor).

As for lecithin, enzymes, etc. I would consider the Hadith in Abu Daud, is when Mada’in were opened, they Sahaba would eat the cheese of the Zoroastrians for which the animals are not permissible. Secondly, many of the other materials get transformed and by near ijmaa, then transformed items are permissible. Thirdly, the impurity of the dead and non-Halal animals usually pertains to the animal that have tissue life, not from the vegetable life of the animal. Impurities are of varying grades with najasa by proximity being a weaker one (e.g. they were touching the tissues of the dead animal). Trivial amounts are usually exempt in the Shari’ah which are used in very small amounts to enable certain chemical pathways.

If someone wants to practise ihtiyaat in this case, it would be acceptable, but it might become very difficult; because of Umoom al-balwa. To insist that all of these things are haram is not correct, but if someone shows ihtiyaat, then it is not extreme. So if it were to be cooked out, then you could not say that that is haram to consume.

Before using the utensils of ahlul kitaab they should be washed (nothing extraordinary, like say after a dog has touched utensils).

Money

What happens if something in and of itself is impure, but is the result of something haram? Very different from the previous case. Money itself is halal.

One issue is that you can not distinguish this item that is halal from a haram one. Example: if someone had a stolen computer then you can easily identify it. So in the case where you can not differentiate it, Ulema have broken it down into 4 cases:

Case #1: There is a limited amount of Halal mixed with a limited amount of Haram. Example: A man has 9 daughters and your mother breastfed one of the 9 daughters but no-one can remember which one. Hence one is Haram and eight are Halal for you to marry. These cases are mentioned in fiqh books because marriage would happen without the groom and bride seeing each other before the marriage.

What to do in such a case? Then avoid all of them. So we should practice ihtiyaat in this case and abstain from what is halaal.

Case #2: The halal is limited and the Haram is Unlimited. Then you must abstain from the halal. Again we practice ihtiyaat and abstain from what is halaal.

Case #3: The Haram is a limited number, but the Halal is an unlimited number (e.g. some woman in a particular country is breastfed by the same person as you). Then there is agreement that this is not an issue and not a case of ihtiyaat. Example: there is a chance whenever you go to market, there are some things there that may be Haram. From the Hadith: there were some items -- a cloak was stolen and a shield was stolen, the Prophet (SAWS) did not stop anyone from using these items. Ihtiyaat in this case is a case of waswasa.  In this case we do not practice ihtiyaat to abstain from something that is halaal.

Case #4: The halal is an uncountable and it is mixed with a haram which is an uncountable. Many ulema take the example of wealth, lots of it is from haraam and lots of it is from halaal. And there is a lot of mixture between unlimited halaal and unlimited haraam, where you cannot distinguish between what is halaal and haraam and we will discuss it next time.


2010-11-28 Class Notes

This is the last class on hadith #11. There is a lot of material on this hadith that will not be covered and we will not continue in the next session with this hadith.

We have covered a lot of material about ihtiyaat. There is more material on ihtiyaat and waswasa which we have not covered.

We have discussed when should ihtiyaat be applied and cases where there are clear shariah principles on whether to apply ihtiyaat or not. We have been discussing these principles and discussing where we have to remain away from it and this is a result of ihtiyaat, for example case where halal is limited and haram is unlimited.


Hadith of prophet describing wara
In one hadith by Tabarani which Al Albaani has claimed as sahih, the prophet said the virtues of knowledge are greater than ibaadah (ritual acts of worship), the best act you can follow is wara (we will define it shortly).

Another hadith, prophet said, Oh Abu Huraira, have the quality of wara and you will have the most worship of the people.

Ayesha is quoted as saying, you people are ignoring one of the foundations of ibadah, which is wara.

Al Wara
Wara means to refrain, in particular to refrain from something that is unbecoming (not proper). Linguistically if you stay away from haraam, it is wara.

The shariah definition is different. It is obligatory to stay away from something that is haraam. Here wara goes beyond the basic definition to a level of virtuous act which is not necessarily obligatory.

One definition is to stay away from doubtful out of fear of falling into something that is doubtful.

Definition given by ….., wara includes doing actions out of precaution, believing that these actions are good, and avoiding actions, because they are harmful.

For example, you consider something is mustahab, but you see signs that it might lead to something harmful, and you stay away from it.  Or an act is not mandatory, but you do the act because it might benefit you.

Al Wara (الورع)  is different from Az Zuhd (الزهد)
Zuhad has to deal with the actions of the heart. It is feeling in the heart, to not go after the things of the dunya. The things of the dunya do not become your priority. If you have them, you utilize it.

If a person has love for the dunya, and he comes across doubtful matters, it will be difficult for him to abstain from it. If the person is lacking interest in the dunya, then it becomes very easy for him to have wara.

One commentator said, “it is amazing that they use the Internet when they are so backward” -- he things that because of zuhd they don’t know how to use technology.

Zuhd is more what is in the heart and wara is more the practice of staying away from that which is doubtful.

Q: Is there anything such as wara when it comes to permissible acts?
A: To stay away from something which is halal, this is not wara. But to avoid being excessive in permissible things can be wara.

Why do we have to be careful in excessive in things that are halal or permissible?
1. These permissible things could be distractions from important things. One of the means of shaytaan is to get you involved with less beneficial things over things which would be more permissible. All actions have an opportunity cost, including deeds for the sake of Allah. Doing things excessively can distract you from other actions that might be of importance.
2. The more you get into it, the more it increases your attachment to it. Once that develops, then it will be more and more difficult for you to give up those things.

Q: Relationship between ihtiyaat and wara’?
A: Very similar. But Wara’ is more comprehensive. It includes ihtiyaat, but is more general. Ihtiyaat is more a fiqh concept, but the word wara’ is more general concept. In their roots, their essence, they convey some of the same kinds of ideas: being careful in your stance and acting out of precaution.

Q: How do you know where to draw the line in permissible things?
A: Every individual has to gauge himself -- watch himself on things he knows are not of great long-term benefit. Everybody knows what kind of things they do which are beneficial and which are perhaps a waste of time. Time is our most limited resource. When people get close to dying, you’ll hear the expression “it’s just a matter of time.” But this is true for everyone, be they sick or not. If you lose time, you are losing the most valuable thing. This doesn’t mean there isn’t time for relaxing, resting, etc. All those things have their place, but it’s a matter of realizing their place. Also some matters, there is a concept of ‘urf: The standard of living that people have. Example: you spend money on clothes similar to those who have the same standard of living. There are limits not defined by the Shari’ah but they are acknowledged by the Shari’ah.

One of the shariah definitions of israaf (extravagance) is spending beyond your means, then the state can take over that individuals access to his own wealth, to keep him away from israaf. We discussed in a previous class.

A person who is zahd can have wealth, that is not the question. But you do not have to have the latest version or latest of everything and then making that your focus.

The more you understand your deen in totality, not just Fiqh of Salah, the more you engross yourself in deen, you become more conscious of the different obligations upon you, and then your efforts become more directed towards those obligations.

The goal is not too please everybody. Knowing how to behave as a Muslim and to balance all of the obligations is very important. If you approach with proper Islamic khulaq (character) then you will be able to meet your obligations.

Emotional aspects should not overrun everything. We should fulfill both rational and emotional aspects.

Concept of ihtiyaat done in order to take into consideration the differences of opinion among the ulema (scholars)

There are some cases where it makes complete sense, for example you are the leader of a mosque and you have to choose between two views without harming the two views. If you take into consideration the two views, then it is good.

But the question of ihtiyaat in face of difference of opinions, why would anyone follow ihtiyaat?
Out of ihtiyaat, you follow a path which is acceptable to all of the ulema, then it is not ihtiyaat. But if you follow one of the opinion, for example if you pray Jumuah before Dhuhr, then you are going against ihtiyaat.
Is it permissible for you to go against ihtiyaat?

In this case ihtiyaat is not applied, because we are not adhering to the requirements or conditions of ihtiyaat.

Not every ruling in fiqh is considered to be acceptable.

Condition #1: The action that you are going to do, must not lead you into doing something that contradicts an affirmed sunnah.

For example, raising the hands in the salah after takbeerah. There is a view of the Imam Hanifa that is it baatil to raise the hands in the salah. Can you say that I am not going to raise my hands in salah because it will make my salah baatil. Now you are avoiding an act that is an affirmed sunnah.

Condition #2: The difference of opinion must be a respectable difference.
If there is no validity for certain opinions, then it is not considered respectable difference.

Scholars divide differences into two categories:
Strong difference of opinion or respectable difference of opinion, they have some strong evidences for their differences of opinion.
Weak difference of opinion is a difference that is baseless.

For example, fasting while travelling during the month of Ramadan, is it valid to fast while travelling?
Ibn Hazm is of the opinion that you cannot fast while traveling in the month of Ramadan. This is considered to be a weak difference of opinion. Because we have hadith of the prophet that show it is valid to fast while travelling in the month of Ramadan.

Hence not every opinion is a valid opinion. Even if someone is a respected scholar, it doesn’t mean that every opinion of that scholar is valid. E.g. in the above, even those who respect Ibn Hazm, they do not consider this opinion to have any weight.

Condition #3: if you are going to do an act to avoid a difference of opinion you have to make sure that you do not fall into another area that is also a difference of opinion.

For example, witr prayer should you pray three straight, or split into two and one?
Hanafi scholars believe it has to be connected. But other scholars say it is not permissible to make it connected. So you do not apply ihtiyaat in this case. Then you have to find out which is the correct opinion.

If the scholars are divided over the status of the action, then you choose the more conservative approach. For example, if some scholars say it is haraam and some say it is mubaah, then you don’t do it. If some people say an action is waajib and others say it is mubaah, then you do it.

What if some scholars say it is waajib and some say it is makrooh?
If you do something makrooh, it is not haraam. Go ahead and do it, since the worst case it is makrooh and in the best case it is waajib.



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